Macron dilutes pledge to end ‘exit tax’ on high earners

France will keep a less restrictive version of its "exit tax" on wealthy people who take assets out of the country, and not completely scrap it as President Emmanuel Macron pledged earlier this year.

Macron dilutes pledge to end 'exit tax' on high earners
President Emmanuel Macron meets visitors to the Elysée Palace during an open day on Saturday. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/Pool/AFP
The 30 percent levy was introduced by former president Nicolas Sarkozy to keep top earnings from leaving France for countries with lower tax rates.
But Macron said in May he would abolish the tax as part of a push to make the country more attractive to investors, which critics say has led to fiscal relief for the wealthiest along with other polices that make him the “president of the rich”.
“People are free to invest where they want. If you want to get married, you  should not explain to your partner, 'If you marry me, you will not be free to divorce,'” Macron told Forbes magazine.
A finance ministry spokesman confirmed to AFP on Saturday that the tax would be kept as part of the 2019 budget plan to be presented later this month, following a report by French financial daily Les Echos.
However the tax will now be levied only if assets are sold within two years of a person's leaving France, instead of 15 years currently.
It applies to people who have been in the country at least six years and have stocks or bonds worth more than 800,000 euros ($930,000), or who own at least 50 percent of a company that moved out of France.
The tax is “a bureaucratic headache for taxpayers” because they have to provide guarantees and file annual declarations for years after leaving the country, the ministry spokesman said.
Aiming to bolster growth
Macron, a former investment banker, has pledged a series of reforms aimed at bolstering economic growth and investment, including making it easier to dismiss workers.
He has also made no secret of his desire to see more people looking for work, at one point calling reform opponents “slackers” and criticising union protesters for “stirring up trouble” instead of finding new jobs.
Greeting people during an open-house visit at the Elysée Palace on France's national heritage weekend, Macron dismissed a young man's claim that he couldn't find work.
“I'm 25 years old, I send resumes and cover letters, they don't lead to anything,” said the aspiring gardener. “If you're willing and motivated, in hotels, cafes and restaurants, construction, there's not a single place I go where they don't say they're looking for people. Not one!” Macron replied. “If I crossed the street I'd find you one,” he said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.